3.) Leave a comment. Here, on iTunes, Michael’s website, LinkedIn. Anywhere. Everywhere. It all matters and it will help him grow the work he is doing.
A Growing Community
Speaking of podcasts, season two of the LeaderQuest Podcast is gearing up. This will include a similar format to season one, but I’m growing my guest list. If you’ve got an idea of someone you want to see on my podcast, please let me know!
I’m excited for what season two has to offer and know that it will bring a lot of value and benefit to your life. I’m also aware that it could be even better. Leave me your thoughts and feedback (and a 5-star review wouldn’t hurt either!).
The jarring blare of the alarm pries your eye-lids open and rips you into the land of the living.
What’s your first instinct?
The snooze button or the bounding first leap of a new baby gazelle?
Is your first thought, “Why me?” or “Why wait any longer?”
The way we set our mind first thing determines the much of the rest of the day.
Richard Whatley once said, “Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.”
Our mindset at the outset of the day determines our outcome. Whether we choose to attack the day or begrudgingly back into it determines how much we will get done.
And this has nothing to do with being a morning person or a night owl (but shout out to all my fellow morning people!).
Instead, it has everything to do with what we purpose in our hearts as valuable and worth investing in.
Our morning rituals have the chance to shape our souls, our character, our potential, and our enjoyment in life.
Habits on Purpose
Anyone who has worked with me knows we spend a lot of time talking about “habits on purpose.” Our morning rituals are no exception. Many of us waste large sections of our mornings instead of intentionally crafting them to serve us and help us reach our goals.
Two scenarios, which sounds more like you (be honest!):
“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.” – Richard Whatley
The alarm goes off. After snoozing the alarm a time or two, you begrudgingly get out of bed. Saunter down to the kitchen and make a cup of coffee. After waiting for it to brew, you put on the television, drink the cup of coffee, and pray for “a few moments of quiet.” The (real) problem is not that these moments aren’t quiet. Instead, it’s that they aren’t productive or stimulating. After an hour of television and another cup of coffee (or two), you manage to scrounge up a quick (and mostly unhealthy) breakfast, rush out the door, only to wait in traffic on the way to work. You spend the rest of the morning wondering how you’re going to fit in everything you have to do.
After work, you might rush off to the gym, if you’re feeling up to it, stagger in the door, and eat a quick bite of dinner with your family. Some more television, and on the good days a few pages of light reading before a late-night Netflix series as you pass out into bed.
The weekends, only somewhat different. Instead of filling your days with work, it’s full of a week’s worth of overlooked errands and obligations. By the time Sunday ends, you dread the thought of going back to work, still tired, still behind, and still wondering where all your time went.
The alarm goes off, but you were already stirring. Gently awakening from a good nights sleep, you quietly make your way to the kitchen. After drinking twenty ounces of water to rehydrate your body, you then make a small cup of coffee and tip-toe into the den. Here, you engage in thirty minutes of intentionally designed habits that give you life and direction. Scripture reading and prayer, meditation, yoga, and a good personal development book are frequent habits. After that, you sneak off to the gym for a good thirty-minute sweat session. You return home just as the rest of the family is waking up. You’re fully awake, charged up, and ready to attack the day. You enjoy a good, nutritious breakfast with your family before heading off to work with purpose and conviction.
After work, you are still awake enough to get a few critical errands done, work on your side hustle, and enjoy another meal with your family. After dinner, you enjoy a myriad of activities together: movies, books, chess, or sports. Whatever it is, you’re excited by the purpose and direction you’ve given your life.
The weekends are similar. They are intentionally designed, purpose-driven, and leave you excited for another week to grow, learn, and serve new people.
I’m guessing you identify with one of these stories.
I identify with both.
For years, I would have firmly placed myself in option one. My life was chaotic, disorganized, and I was “average” (at best).
After intentionally taking steps to counter this drift, seeking out some great coaches, and getting a grip on my life and my purpose, I now find myself firmly in option two.
The difference along the way for me has been a lot of intentional habits and disciplines, specifically and most importantly, my morning rituals.
Now, they’re far from perfect. Right now, my morning habits are really broken up into to separate blocks. That’s the status of my work life right now. Eventually, it will happen in one chunk as I sense that will work the best for me.
So while I may not have my “ideal” calendar of morning rituals in place, I do have a target. I know what I’m aiming for. Otherwise, I’m like the boy learning archery who shot an arrow and then ran over to pain the bullseye around it. Instead, I want to know what the target is and then put all of my effort and talent into hitting it every time.
Below are the habits of my morning ritual and roughly how much time I spend on each one.
20oz of water within ten minutes of waking up
1 cup of coffee
Bible Reading and Prayer (10-15 Minutes)
Personal Development Book (15-20 Minutes)
Exercise (45 minutes)
Within the first 90 minutes of my day, I have exercised my body, brain, and spiritual muscles. I have found that this gives me focus, intensity, and purpose to my days. I’m still tweaking exactly how to flow from one activity to the next more smoothly but would love to hear from you.
What are your morning rituals?
What are your daily habits and routines?
How are you using your time to intentionally invest in bettering yourself at the start of the day?
Recently I was on a trip and I loaded the destination into my phone’s GPS, and started driving.
I didn’t feel like I needed it at first since I know how to get out of my neighborhood. But it’s easier to do in the beginning than to plug it in while driving.
Through a series of short straightaways and quick turns, I soon found myself on the highway.
Stay on this road for 227 miles.
Immediately I had a knot in my stomach.
I knew it was a long trip. I knew how many hours it would take. I had even accounted for traffic times so I could make it as short as possible.
But there’s still something about seeing that number and the accompanying time frame that made me feel a tad frustrated.
Can you relate?
Why we need to practice staying on course.
Whether we like it or not, we all need to follow the advice to stay on course.
Trying a new startup venture? Stay the course.
Repairing a broken relationship? Stay the course.
Losing weight, changing your eating habits, or completing a degree? Stay the course.
Too often, we bail too quickly on our goals and never see real results. We hear the other dreaded word of a navigating GPS system: “Recalculating.” It means we’ve veered off course and need to get back on track.
Staying the course means eliminating distractions.
Staying the course means staying hyper-focused.
Staying the course means developing extreme discipline.
Staying the course means knowing what the end destination is, and refusing to stop before you get there.
Staying the course is not easy, but it is deeply rewarding. It is the only way to truly get to where you want to go in life.
The only way your side hustle becomes your main gig is by staying the course.
The only way you’ll have the body you dream of is staying the course in your diet.
The only way to have a thriving marriage, growing business, strong team, or financial success is by staying on course.
Your goals, dreams, visions, and plans for life are all at on the line. Don’t settle for anything less than reaching your final destination.